Q & A Is Global Warming The Same As Climate Change?

Today’s question:  “Is Global Warming The Same As Climate Change?

The answer is clearly NO.

We continue, however,  to see the use of climate change and global warming used interchangeably (e.g. see).  This is presumably based on the narrow, and scientifically flawed, perspective advocated in policy statements as this (see)

“Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. “

However, as documented in the EOS article

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union

“……. the natural causes of climate variations and changes are undoubtedly important, [but also] the human influences are significant and involve a diverse range of first- order climate forcings, including, but not limited to, the human input of carbon dioxide (CO2). Most, if not all, of these human infl uences on regional and global climate will continue to be of concern during the coming decades.”

I have posted on the need to broaden the science assessment for years, with examples of my posts on this topic

Is Global Warming the Same as Climate Change?

What is Climate? Why Does it Matter How We Define Climate?

What is Climate Change?

Is There a Human Effect on the Climate System?

What Are The Major Recommendations of the 2005 National Research Council Report Entitled Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: Expanding The Concept And Addressing Uncertainties?

The bottom line message is that climate change involves much more than global warming or cooling. When the two terms are used interchangeably it shows either a lack of knowledge or a deliberate attempt to mislead policymakers and the public.

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